Friday, December 31, 2010

Throughout this year I have made a solid effort to spend more quality time with my kids, showing them that they truly are more important to me. As I've mentioned before, I spend most days, all day with the kids. But most of it is not quality time. And with 4 of them, it takes a real effort to spread myself around...absolutely possible, but it takes me making a point of doing it.

The other challenge is figuring out what "love" means for each child. I want to make sure that each minute set aside for each one is spent exactly how they need it spent.

I am a quality time person 100%. Playing a game, talking, walking, pretty much any undistracted time with me makes my cup overflow. Without it, I dry up. But just because I'm that way, doesn't mean my kids are...and that's where the challenge comes in.

I've got something special with each of my kids...something that's just between the two of us.

With Quaid we spent lots of time when he was smaller building with K'nex, blocks, and Lego's. He could build for hours. I would tell him over and over how awesome it was, how cool it was built...and he just shines with each and every word. Now that he's 6 and is playing with toys for "6 +" I am no longer able to help. My Lego building skills end at age range "3-5 years." Sad but true, the boy can out build his Mom hands down. He'll go off on his own and build something or draw a picture, and come running to me....beaming proud. He gets big hugs, and kisses, and me telling him how awesome his picture or Lego spaceship is and he just lights up. Then I tell him I love him, he says I love you to Mom, I say I love you, He says I love you too mom, I say I love you....and we continue on with that until he says, "Ugghhh Mooooommmmm!!"

Ava is a quality time girl just like me. She loves to play games and I try to always play with her when she asks...excepts when she asks me at 4:55 when I'm in the middle of dinner with Happy Hour Hungry kids! Then she has to wait! We also have a special's one I heard when I was young. I hold her tight and whisper it in her ear so no one else can hear it. Just to keep it between us, but also because no one really wants to hear me sing out loud. It's not pretty. She just sits perfectly still and just listens until I finish.

Jentzen, I don't know exactly what kind of man he is quite yet. He seems to be a little bit of everything But we have our special things....I always "find his tickles." He LOVES to be tickled...I laugh at his's so precious and to hear him say, "Please Stop Mama!" Only to sit there and wait until I start all over again. I can tickle him out of any bad mood, skinned knee, or bonked head. He's got the most precious smile ever. I'm sure you've all heard of the book "Guess How Much I Love You" with the bunnies. Well we do our own version of that. We love each other to the moon, the sun, to Africa, to Australia, to Texas, and even all the way into the kitchen!

And little Miss Keira. My favorite time is putting her to bed. First because when she's in her bed is the only time she's remotely still. And second because of her cuddles. She has come to think that it isn't a real cuddle until we're cheek to cheek. She reaches her little arms up and pulls my face right next to hers and just stays still for a few moments. I'll pull back and she grabs me right back down. "Mo duddle mama," she whispers. Repeat that 5 or 6 times followed by a quiet, "I wuv you too Mama" and I'm just a sloppy melted mess on the floor. All that girl ever needs is a big hug and a kiss and the world is a good place to be.

So I'm not one for New Years Resolutions. When you see something that needs to change in your life, change it. But I will be continuing on in my effort to give to each child what they need from me most. So whoever you have in your life, a child, a sibling, a parent, a friend...find out what they need, even it it seems unimportant or unnecessary to you...and find some joy in doing it for them.

Do you have a "special thing" with someone you love?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Twins Game

I realize this is going back a bit...way back to September 23rd. Sorry to bore you, but there are a few reasons for it:

1. I'm way behind, I forgot I never finished the "Ode to the Brewins"
2. It's December, and raining, not snowing...but raining. Except tomorrow it will be ice, and I thought you all needed some reading material after spinning into the ditch...Hope you have 3G!
3. I don't even know what 3G means...does that have anything to do with Internet capability and phones? I don't know, and don't want to know....I just saw it on a commercial.
4. We all need a little Summer reminder in the middle of the winter, don't we?

Now, I've never been a fan of professional sports. I'd rather watch college anything over professional. But we had a blast!! It was one of our favorite things we did! I would for sure go back! I think it was just being was meant to be played outdoors!
It was beautiful, we had great seats (Thanks Jason!), and I got cheese curds.

Or it could have been so great because I was sitting next to this hunky hunk. I know, I'm a lucky gal. Don't be too jealous...Jealously has never done anyone any good.

Then on the walk back to our car, we saw this:

Mel likes buildings, the architecture, the oldness of it. I say, "Oh neat." Then I turn my head and keep walking. We've got more important things to see.

I wouldn't have made their visit to the Twin Cities complete without seeing this:

Beautiful. And it looks like the cherry is leaking on Anth's head. Cool.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

DD and RW lent us a camera for Christmas and our annual Pahl ski trip so I will actually get to post some pictures too. Those will be coming soon...I think. While Nathan is on school break, I'll be spending the next 7 days in a row with my Frannie Family (as another co worker says it) so it might be next week. Blogs without pictures are boring boring...and I don't want to bore my faithful readers.

But I've got just a few thoughts for you today, bare with me:

1. When a two year old yells, "Doe Poddy, Doe Poddy!" and takes off streaking through the kitchen taking off her pants mid stride....One might, just might want to follow her and make sure she ends up in the proper room of the house.

2. When a balloon spontaneously pops on the bathroom floor, it probably isn't that spontaneous. You have a broken nightlight that no one bothered to tell you that he or she broke, but instead just shoved all the broken bits into a corner.

3. Pillow's all about the Pillow Pets.

4. Standing at the bottom of a bunny hill for numerous hours of the day watching a 4 year old go up and down results in completely frozen toes, and makes you feel useless.

5. Standing at the bottom of a bunny hill for numerous hours of the day watching a 4 year old go up and down results in seeing some hilarious happenings with some adults learning how to snowboard and ski....and makes me feel very fortunate that I learned when I was 7.

6. It is totally possible for a 5 year old girl to talk non stop the entire way up the chair lift...AND the entire way down the hill...the ENTIRE way.

7. When you leave your house a mess and go on vacation for 3 days...when you come's still a mess.

8. A husband, particulariy MY husband, makes the very best partner to play cards or lose.

I'm ending at 8...because that's the sort of week I'm thinking it's going to be.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

...let your 2, 5, and 6 year old (Jentzen didn't want any) make their own cinnamon sugar toast involving the following steps:

1. Mom worked until 11pm.
2. Mom had to get up at 5 am to bring Dad to the airport...WITH all the kids.
3. Mom got home at 6:15 am with all kids awake and mom not so awake.
4. Mom decided to sleep on the couch while the kids watched a movie.
5. Kids were done with movie and wanted toast for breakfast.
6. Mom still sleeping, groggily saying something about, Do it yourself.
7. Cinnamon and Sugar is empty, Mom says something about, Mix it yourself.
8. Fill in with what you think happened next...I'm sure you could imagine.
9. In the end...toast was buttered, and sugared and eaten...with only a little help from Mom.

Was the mess and clean up worth the extra few minutes of laying on the couch. I'd say not.

Take Note if you're ever in this position.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's a common fact that Christmas time means sending out Christmas Cards.

Well except for me. I can't be bothered.

I figure I you already know more about our family than you wanted to. And if you want to see pictures and know even more detail about how we spend our lives...Nathan's'll find it all there and more.

But it seems when you don't send them don't get them in return. Weird how that works. I don't even get one from my Mom. I'm not sure what that means.

So all you out there who are waiting for a card from probably won't come. I think I sent one out in June you never know..but please please please, I want yours!!!

Thanks to the Plapp's, Pederson's, Winger's and last but not least, the St Francis Leadership Team...who have already come through for me!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Could someone please remind my 2 year old of a few things...because obviously my instructions are going unheard...

1. Despite it's white and creamy appearance....Desitin is NOT lotion and should not be rubbed all over ones hands, legs, face, and hair.

2. Although the closet looks a little overcrowded...there is indeed enough room for all the clothes to be hung. There's no need to take everything off the rack and throw it all over the floor.

3. Besides them both being white, that is the only thing our doors and paper have in common. They should not be used interchangeably for coloring purposes.

Keira will be home and available all day for instructional sessions. Good Luck.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Anyone remember that song? It was a great one. Couldn't tell you who sang it or what year, but I'm dancing in my chair to it at the moment. No not really, if you know me, I'm sitting in my chair not even tapping a toe.

Well we made it back to good ole MN full of snow and cold. Las Vegas met all my expectations...I kept them really low going into it to not be disappointed and it worked. It was big bright and beautiful...well partly beautiful. The buildings and the roulette wheel were impressive...everything else...NOT. We saw the Grand Canyon which needs no words...if you've been there, you know. If you haven' should go.

It was a lot of walking, which I enjoyed but I think our next vacation should involve some sweating, sand, and water.

It was a good break for both me and the kids. They had a great time with lots of great people who love them. After not hearing their voices, or actually any child voice for 5 days was weird. I got into the car and thought, "Oh, yeah, that's what they sound like." It was very strange.

We are back into and all. I am a bit confused with one can 5 days make 4 loads of laundry? Anyway, it's good to be home in my own bed, and hearing my kids talk, laugh, and even fight :)

I'd post up some pictures of what we did but I can't. Our camera was stolen. It was left in the rental car and obviously it was gone when we went back to claim it. The lady at the counter said, "We usually don't have a problem with things missing." Yeah well who wants someones dirty socks, hat, mittens, umbrella, or half eaten bag of chips? A camera is a bit more desirable item. So someone in Vegas who works for Hertz just got an early Christmas present at our expense....GRRRRR.

So we have no pictures except a few that Nathan took with his phone....and I'm a bit cranky with the world at the moment. Sometimes I feel like it pays to be dishonest, a liar, selfish, and just mean in general. Sometimes I feel like those who try to do things right, trust in others, and treat others right just get stomped to the ground no matter what. It's a bit discouraging.

But I am reminded that the Lord is good to me, even if everyone else isn't. Some days that's easy....but today, not so much.

Viva Las Vegas.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What to Think?

Should I be offended that my kids jump and cheer at that fact that we're leaving for a few days?

I guess better that way than screaming and crying while trying to hide themselves in our luggage.

But really kids...remember me?

The one who DID lug you around as luggage for 9 months?

The ones who's hips will never be the same?

The one who's tummy will never tan quite the same again because of the numerous stretch marks?

The one who's tummy will never even be visible to anyone ever again?

The one who was kind enough to feed you at all hours of the night?

The one who changed you without a clothespin on my nose?

The one who's washed every possible form of body fluid off my hands more than once?

The one who answers every time I hear the word, "Mommy?"

Ok fine...the one who answers you most of the time...and only pretends not to hear you sometimes?

The one who feeds you every time you say you're hungry...all 27 times in a day?

The one who drops everything to take you potty?

The one who will probably say "potty" till you're 35 years old?

The one who loves you more than anyone else alive? (I'll arm wrestle you for this one Daddy...winner takes all!)

Remember me you punks???? I will miss you so much please miss me a little!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

September 19

We spend this day at Sever's Corn Maze. I was always a bit skeptical until we went last year....and Oh My! We'll be going every year from now on. So much fun! And so much more than just a walk through a corn field.

There's a big giant slide. Ava...the smiles tell it all.

These faces, I'm a little less sure about. I think by the end of it they were okay...I think.
I love dads...and I love the fact that dads get suckered into all the kids things...and moms get to stand by the sideline and hold their jackets and half eaten food.
And it's a good thing that this Dad is easily suckered...otherwise I'm pretty sure Jentzen would have been launched off the slide.
And I'm pretty sure there wasn't much suckering involved...I think Nathan was equally entertained.
At this point I'm thinking that Dad is about to be launched as well!
Phew! All ended well. And no complaints from Jentzen...or Daddy.
Then on to the most fun part of it all. The Giant Corn Pit. If you're a little irritated by the price of corn these can blame the corn pit. There's enough corn in here to feed a small country...but Oh is it worth it!!! Keira catapulted herself into this time and time again.
This was my favorite part too...I could have played around in here all day long. And we did for a huge part of the day. Do you know how many crevasses it's possible to get corn lodged? Well if you take a look at beautiful her her beautiful turquoise shirt...a little lower...a little lower. Yep that's it. The crack. Pretty sure that poor girl spent more time mining for corn than actually playing the poor thing. Lack of's really a matter how tight the pants's just never tight enough to do the job. Ask my kids...they know this life way too well.
It was just a few weeks back and I was still finding corn kernels around my house...2 months later.

And then there's the hay bale maze. Giant hay bales that are set up like a maze...but it's much more fun to run on top. I tried to take the mom stance of holding all the coats, purses etc. And just watch from the sidelines...but Keira would have none of that. Nathan conveniently paired himself with the older kids which have leg lengths that are conducive to hay bale jumping. I, on the other hand, was stuck with not only all the purses and coats but also the child with the shortest legs.

Now I myself hardly have legs long enough to jump from bale to bale....let alone helping my baby. Nothing like a nice struggling rear shot...Thanks Mel. But if you can't embarrass yourself on your own blog...then what's the point.
No, I don't need help...Nope, don't worry about me...Don't I look totally under control? As I almost go splits, rip by pants in half, and knock my head on the hay bale...Nope, don't worry, our baby is just fine. And Me? Well never mind me.

Petting zoos are always fun. And they do have freakishly weird animals for a corn field in Shakopee.
But what do the Aussies choose to befriend? The deer, the common pesky, better off dead deer.
Their deer equivalent is the kangaroo believe it or not. The pesky thing that totals your car and is way over populated.
Then there's the Ostrich. I think we all know not to mess with the Ostrich. Nathan was just teaching Jentzen this very valuable he almost got his eye snatched out and his nose bitten off. Seriously...this is a kids place!
More deer...Blah!
And last but not least...Pig Races. That's it. No more to mention...that's about all the time we spent on the Pig Races.

In my opinion...head back to the Corn'll thank me.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

On October 8th my sister Nancy was kind enough to give birth to a baby. Not just any baby. My 5th baby...she was a surrogate.

Except she doesn't really know it.

And I only get to have my baby 2 days a week and I let her have the baby the rest of the time.

Okay so maybe that makes ME a surrogate mama.

Okay fine...I'm just the Aunt that babysits 2 days a week.

But I can still sniff her head and smell all her newborn can't stop me!

My kids are her favorite cousins...except Gisella doesn't know it yet.

Not sure why Keira is flashing me that sign. Maybe it means something...maybe she's been sneaking in the TV room and watching gang movies during nap?
Don't be fooled by the licking of the chops...Keira is sure, "No wike it, mama...Gisewah wike it"
She's a pro. For a two year old. In case you missed it...2 years ago yesterday I was kind enough to birth Keira for the whole world to enjoy! She was nice enough to decide to head out...both literally and figuratively...on a day that I was already at work. I knew she was coming, packed my bag and my pillow and headed to work. I got paid to be in do you like that? And when it was time...I walked upstairs to the 3rd floor and had a baby.

Jentzen loves Gisella too...I didn't think he'd be into the whole baby thing...way too may cars to play with and not enough hours in the day...but he joined in the fun.

And does one even have to wonder what my little mother hen thinks of Gisella? And who wouldn't love her...look at that face!!
And at any moment that Ava's little chick isn't here or in need of mothering...that's where younger siblings come into action.All tucked up...ready for bedtime. Anyone need a mom...obviously I'm not needed in this house!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I've succumb to the boys world...

Me: "Quaid be careful whipping your brother and sister with a towel."

Q: "I will mom, I'll do it nicely."

A nightly prayer...

Q: "Please Lord, PLEASE help us not get the toy room messy tomorrow."

A morning thought:

Q: "Mom, when I drink orange juice and then burp, my throat tastes like real oranges....not like REAL oranges!!"

He's going places ladies and gentlemen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

September 18

So to continue the packing the schedule thing we'd been doing since they invaded...We headed to New Prague for Dozinski's Days...did I spell that right? If there's anyone from New Prague who knows and who actually cares...feel free to correct me.



Yeah that's what I thought.

There was a car cruise. Something I've never been to....and probably won't go to again. It was fun and we had a blast...but just not something that I'd do every year.

Gotta have the street vendor's what we do in America. My favorite part of that picture...Jentzen in a tank top sitting right next to the Aussies all in their winter parkas :) They don't know the meaning of COLD!!!
Line 'em up and shove some food at them...that'll keep them happy.
And Daddy too it turns out.
Do think there's copyright issues on posting people's cars? Or maybe photoright issues? Well I'm not sure, but these were some of my favorites. I guess this car forgot the trunk and decided to just hook it on the back?
How cool is that?? Honey could you whip that up for me with that welder thing in the garage? I'm sure there's not much to it.
What's a classic car show without a few flames?
The kids, however, were a little less impressed with the cars by #3 out of #300, so we went to the park.

The goal of spinning them around as fast as possible on the tire swing in order to see their fried street vendor food one more time proved unsuccessful...thankfully!!!
As did trying to use gravity.
I found this picture at the end. I'm not sure whose house this is. They live somewhere in new Prague...Whoever you are...I guess Melanie loved your house enough to take a picture of it...the only house she took a picture of. It might have been the front porch? the two windows on the top? the American Flag? the "death trap in the winter" stairs up to the front porch?

In any case...God Bless America and keep your front porch never know what crazy foreigner might be walking by.

PS...Crazy in the most loving, admirable endearing way .

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I thought I'd take a break from the Brewin Reminiscent Series to let you know that winter came. If you live here in Minnesota, and if you missed it, there's snow on the ground. Not just a dusting...but real snow.

I'm somewhat okay with that. If it's going to be cold there might as well be snow. It was a think heavy wet snow...perfect for snowmen!

The kids did this one by themselves. I don't do snow. I stay inside and take pictures from the comfort of my nice warm house with my slippers on. I know, bad mom. I love how they just felt free to rip the branches off our nearby pine trees. The boy needs arms right?

And I don't do snow right now because Keira and I spend most of our days hanging out in the kitchen like this. A snowsuit would somewhat hinder the process...and the option to drop trou and let 'er flow in the middle of winter...well I think that's somehow inhumane.

Yes Keira, I like to squeeze those little cheeks too.

And your boots are a PERFECT accessory. That girls has fashion skills at 23 months...ooohhh the places she will go.

The snow came and we still had toys in the yard. The sand diggers became snow shovels. I love a toy with dual purpose.

This snowman has pumpkins for shoes...or maybe he's a snowgirl and froze something off her top half? I'm not sure what artistic expression the kids were going for here.

And seeing as how just 1 week prior it was 50-60 degrees we still had the trampoline up. I've lived here in the winter for 29 years. And somehow every year winter and the snow catches me off guard.
So get our your shovels kids and clear the trampoline. It kept them busy and by the end of 3 days they had it done. We'll see what they do with the big hole and snow. I'd make a snow fort. Oh wait, I don't do snow...